Sacramento River Cats Beat Oklahoma City Dodgers 7-3 Behind Strong Outing From Ty Blach

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Ty Blach took the mound Wednesday night and dominated the Oklahoma City Dodgers, shutting them out through eight magnificent innings. A first-inning home run from Juan Perez gave Blach and the Sacramento River Cats an early lead, one they would never give up on their way to a 7-3 win over the Dodgers.

Blach was lights out in his 11th start of the season, pitching 8+ innings while allowing 2 runs on 8 hits and striking out 7. He kept the Dodgers off balance all night, mixing his fastball and a devastating change up to continuously get ahead of batters. His command was on point, as he threw 74 of his 105 pitches for strikes and for the sixth time this season, Blach did not walk a single batter, further improving on his PCL best 0.89 BB/9. Blach’s 8 innings pitched is the most thrown by any River Cats pitcher this season.

Juan Perez led off the game for the River Cats, and wasted as little time as possible as he hit the second pitch of the game over the left field fence to give his side an early lead. It was the first leadoff home run by a River Cat since July 22, 2013 (Jemile Weeks). Perez finished the game 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored.

Sacramento added to their lead in the fourth inning when Jarrett Parker hit an RBI single to center, making it 2-0 River Cats. The base hit was the 500th of Parker’s minor league career. In the fifth, the River Cats added two more thanks to a two-out bases-load single by Travis Ishikawa.

The River Cats padded their lead in the eighth, as Perez, Kevin Frandsen, and Casey McGehee all contributed RBIs to push their lead to 7-0. The Dodgers would counter in the ninth, as O’Koyea Dickson drove in their first run of the game, making the score 7-1 and knocking Blach out of the game. Oklahoma City would add two more on a home run by Andy Wilkins, but that would be all they could push across.

OKC starter Matt Shelton didn’t have a chance against Blach, and threw just 4 innings while allowing 2 runs (all earned) on 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. The Dodger bullpen had to put in extra work, combining for 5 innings of relief, allowing 5 runs (all earned).

The River Cats will look for their third straight win on Thursday as they send right-hander Clayton Blackburn (1-3, 4.32) to the hill. Blackburn enters the start with the second best WHIP on the Sacramento starting rotation at 1.44. Opposing him will be righty Deck McGuire (1-1, 1.98). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m (PT).

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign Trindon Holliday, Waive/Injured Andre Debose

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent WR/RS Trindon Holliday, the club announced Wednesday. To make room on the roster, the Raiders have waived/injured WR Andre Debose with an Achilles injury.

Holliday joins the Silver and Black after stints with the Houston Texans (2011-12), Denver Broncos (2012-13), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014) and San Francisco 49ers (2014). He has appeared in 33 career games, totaling 82 punt returns for 769 yards (9.4 avg.) and 54 kickoff returns for 1,455 yards (26.9 avg.), with a total of four return touchdowns (two punt, two kickoff). In four postseason appearances with Denver, the 5-foot-5, 170pounder has added 90 yards on three punt returns (30.0 avg.) with one score and 12 kickoff returns for 344 yards (28.7 avg.) with one touchdown.

Originally a sixth-round pick (197th overall) by the Houston Texans in the 2010 NFL Draft, Holliday played four years (2006-09) at LSU, where he contributed at running back and led the SEC as a senior in punt return touchdowns (one) and average yards per punt return (18.1). With four career rushing touchdowns in college, Holliday also amassed four return touchdowns (two punt, two kickoff). The Zachary, La., native also won the 2009 NCAA title in the 100-meter dash.

Press Release Courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Nik Turley Is Impressive in River Cats 3-2 Win Over Oklahoma City Dodgers

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – After getting out to an early lead, the Sacramento River Cats took the series opener against the Oklahoma City Dodgers 3-2 Tuesday night. Three runs in the very first inning were enough as Sacramento hung on thanks to a solid return to Triple-A from Nik Turley and a strong finish by the bullpen.

The River Cats got out to an early 3-0 lead with help from singles by Darren Ford and Casey McGehee. Travis Ishikawa drove home Darren Ford on a single of his own, and Juan Perez soon followed with a two-run single to bring home McGehee and Ishikawa. The Dodgers scored a run in their half of the inning, and one again in the seventh, but the River Cats’ pitching came through late to nail down the series opener.

After being designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants, both McGehee and Ishikawa ended up in Sacramento and are trying to work their way back, using tonight as a platform to prove they’re worthy of a spot on the Giants’ roster. McGehee went 2-for-4 with a single and a double. Ishikawa went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI-single.

Kevin Frandsen made his debut as a River Cat in tonight’s game after signing a minor league contract with the Giants over the weekend. The Giants originally drafted him in the 12th round of the 2004 amateur draft. Frandsen went 2-for-3 with two singles against the Dodgers Tuesday evening.

Tonight was Nik Turley’s first game back pitching for the River Cats and he did not disappoint. After 37 games on the Disabled List with a blister issue, he made one start with Class-A Advanced San Jose before being transferred back to Sacramento. Turley pitched 6 solid innings tonight in just his second start of the season with the River Cats, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts.

Cody Hall picked up Turley in the seventh inning and, despite allowing an unearned run, kept Sacramento’s lead. Erik Cordier relieved Hall in the middle of the eighth inning to get the River Cats out of a jam unscathed. Mike Broadway pitched a shutout ninth inning, recording his fifth save in as many tries. The bullpen combined for 3 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks with 2 strikeouts.

Game two of the series will continue tomorrow, with the River Cats sending LHP Ty Blach (4-5, 3.82) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Zach Lee (5-3, 2.38). Blach’s 1.03 BB/9 is the second best in the PCL behind Oklahoma City’s Scott Baker. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT).

Game Recap Courtesy of Sacramento RiverCats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Hosts Premier League Club Newcastle United on July 18 at Bonney Field

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –Sacramento Republic FC will host English Premier League club Newcastle United on Saturday July 18, 2015 in a friendly match presented by Chipotle. Kickoff is currently scheduled for 8:00 p.m. PDT at Bonney Field.

The match will be the third annual Sacramento Soccer Day and the second time that Republic FC will face an English Premier League club on Sacramento Soccer Day. Last year Republic FC played West Bromwich Albion on July 25. Sacramento Soccer Day is an annual celebration of soccer in the capital city including recognition of regional youth teams and individuals that have contributed to the sport.

Newcastle United was founded in 1892 after the two clubs in Newcastle upon Tyne, East End and West End joined the two clubs to create one club that would compete in the newly created Football League. Newcastle United has won the FA Cup six times (1910, 1924, 1932, 1951, 1952, 1955) and have won the First Division title four times (1904-05, 1906-07, 1908-09, 1926-27). They play their home matches at St. James’ Park, a 52,000-seat stadium that was a venue for the 2012 Olympics, the 1996 UEFA European Football Championship and will be a venue during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

This friendly is included in the Republic FC season ticket package as Special Match D ticket. Single match tickets will go on-sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9 via Ticketmaster.com.

Match Announcement Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Fall To Sky Sox 5-3 Split Series; Error Proves Costly

Photo Courtesy of The Sacramento River Cats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Sacramento River Cats and Sky Sox both sent bullpen arms to the mound to start Monday’s matinee finale in Colorado Springs. Looking for their first series win since late April, the defense again stumbled, committing their eighth error of the series as the River Cats fell 5-3 to the Sky Sox.

Veteran righty Juan Gutierrez took the mound for the River Cats, making his first start of the season. Gutierrez had appeared in 13 games for Sacramento prior to today’s game, posting an 0-1 record with one save and a 4.94 ERA. He was excellent for the River Cats filling in as a starter, tossing 3 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 2. He threw 39 pitches in the start, 25 for strikes, and recorded five ground ball outs.

His opponent was fellow right-handed reliever Tim Dillard. Dillard, who was also making his first start of the season, went 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2.

The River Cats struck first, jumping ahead in the second inning on a towering three-run home run from Casey McGehee. The homer was his second in the last two games and one of three hits on the afternoon. It was a strong end to the series for McGehee, who hit .500 (8-for-16) with 2 walks, 3 runs, 2 home runs, a double, and 6 RBIs over the four games.

The Sky Sox took the lead in the fourth, though, scoring five times off reliever Curtis Partch to go ahead by two. The big hit in the inning came from Colorado Springs’ pinch-hitter Chris Nelson. With the bases loaded, Nelson – who came into the at bat hitting just .158 in his last ten games (3-for-19)  roped a bases-clearing double down the right-field line.

Four of Colorado Springs’ runs in the inning were unearned as Adam Duvall committed his team-leading 10th error of the season on a throw to first. In the series, the River Cats committed eight errors and surrendered 11 unearned runs.

The River Cats were unable to generate a comeback as the Sky Sox bullpen limited them to just three hits over the final five innings. Jarrett Parker, who started the day with 499 career hits, was 0-2 with two walks on the afternoon, postponing the milestone for at least another game.

The River Cats are now 23-29 and will head to Oklahoma City to take on the OKC Dodgers. The Dodgers are 34-15 heading into their game tonight and are in first in the American Northern Division. Nik Turley (0-1, 13.50) will kick things off for the River Cats. The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Joe Wieland (4-1, 5.45). First pitch is 5:05 p.m. PDT. The game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and will join in progress at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN 1320.

Game Recap Courtesy Of The Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Wins Second Straight Beat Colorado Sky Sox 10-5

Photo Courtesy of Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Sacramento River Cats won their second straight as they took game three of their four game series with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 10-5. After snapping a franchise long losing streak on Saturday, Sacramento was backed on Sunday by a pair of home runs by Jarrett Parker and a strong pitching performance from Robert Coello.

Sacramento wasted little time getting on the board Sunday. After the first four batters of the game had been retired, Parker stepped up and crushed his 10th home run of the year over the right field fence, putting his club up 1-0. Two batters later, the River Cats added to their lead on a Trevor Brown single, driving in Juan Perez.

Colorado Springs struck for their first run of the ballgame in the bottom of the second on a two-out single by Pete Orr. The River Cats countered in the third with an Adam Duvall RBI single, scoring Ehire Adrianza, who reached on a walk and advanced first-to-third on a wild pitch. Sacramento added another run in the fourth on a bases-loaded single by Casey McGehee.

The Sky Sox got back on the board with a run in the bottom of the fourth, as Nevin Ashley scored on a throwing error by the catcher Trevor Brown. However, the River Cats didn’t take long to strike back, as in the fifth inning Parker hit his second homer of the day to put Sacramento up 5-2. Parker finished the day 2-for-4 with 2 home runs, a walk, and 2 RBI. The 2-hit day moves Parker one hit shy of 500 for his minor league career.

Colorado Springs put up a threat in the sixth, scoring two early runs and loading the bases with nobody out. Coello, however, managed to escape the inning with a one-run lead still intact. In the seventh, McGehee led off the inning with his first home run as a River Cat, providing padding the lead for Coello. McGehee finished the day 2-for-4 with a walk and 2 RBI. The River Cats plated four more insurance runs in the final two innings to secure the victory.

Coello (6-3, 3.50) pitched well and earned the win in his PCL leading eleventh start of the year, pitching 7 innings while allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits. He walked 2 and struck out 4. His counterpart, right-hander Drew Gagnon (1-7, 7.91), lasted 5 innings while allowing 5 runs (all earned) on 9 hits, striking out 2.

The River Cats will go for the series victory on Monday. Sacramento’s starting pitcher has yet to be announced, but the Sky Sox will be sending right-hander Tyler Cravy (5-4, 4.04) to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. (PT) and can be heard on rivercats.com. Following the game, the River Cats will head to Oklahoma City to begin four game set with the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

Game Recap – Courtesy of Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC, Real Monarchs SLC Ends In Tie 1-1; Cards Fly In Chippy Match

All Photos By Shawn Jonas

SACRAMENTO, Calif.Sacramento Republic FC and Real Monarchs SLC play to a 1-1 draw in a physical match, in front of a sold-out crowd at Bonney Field.

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Real Monarchs SLC started the scoring early, capitalizing on a penalty in the 7th minute, after Republic FC defender Mickey Daly was called for a foul in the box. Real Monarchs forward Max Rauhofer stepped up to the spot and sent a screamer past Republic FC keeper Patrick McLain for the early 1-0 lead.

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Republic FC would find an equalizer in the 19th minute. Strong build up play from the midfield led to Ivan Mirković darting up the right side of the defense and into the box. Mirković advanced all the way to the 6-yard box and blasted the ball across the face of goal. Forward David Estrada was set up at the far post and redirected the ball into the back of the net to tie the match 1-1.

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Republic FC forward Justin Braun had a chance to put Republic FC ahead in the 37th minute after Cameron Iwasa was taken down in the box. Braun stepped up to the spot and sent a shot toward the left side of the goal but Real Monarchs goalkepper Emilio Orozco guessed right and kept the score 1-1 going into the half.

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Both sides saw their share of opportunities in the second half. Real Monarchs had a breakaway chance in the 71st minute that was snuffed out by McLain coming off his line to clear the ball. McLain was called into action again in the 77th minute when Real Monarchs forward Emery Welshman sprinted past the defense with the ball as McLain charged at him and made the save.

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Republic FC had the majority of the chances in the second half, including a few after Emilio Orozco was sent off with his second yellow card in the 89th minute. Cameron Iwasa had a breakaway chance in the 68th minute that was unsuccessful. Republic FC had two headers in the final 10 minutes of the match, including one from defender Nemanja Vuković that hit the goal post and went out of play.

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The best chance for Republic FC came in the 87th minute when second-half substitute Thomas Stewart got a header opportunity, but unfortunately could not put it on goal. Despite the chances for both sides, the match ended in a 1-1 tie.

“A lot of good plays in the first half with a lot of good chances. It’s disappointing to not get the three points,” said Republic FC Head Coach Preski following the match. “The amount of chances we create is incredible. We had enough chances to win this game.”

Republic FC will be back in action on Saturday, June 6, when they take on the Austin Aztex. Kickoff is 8:00 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on CW 31.

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Sacramento Republic FC 1:1 Real Monarchs SLC
USL Match
Bonney Field – Sacramento, CA
May 30, 2015 – Attendance: 11,442

Scoring Summary: SLC – Max Rauhofer (penalty) 7; SRFC – David Estrada (Ivan Mirković) 19

Misconduct Summary: SLC – Emilio Orozco (caution) 15, Max Rauhofer (caution) 70, Adolfo Ovalle (caution) 76, Emilio Orozco (ejection) 89; SRFC – Nemanja Vuković (caution) 65, Ivan Mirković (caution) 87

Real Monarchs SLC – Eric Osswald; Riley McGovern, Lennon LeLostino, Tyler Arnorne, Emilio Orozco; Adolfo Ovalle, Alec Sundly (Lucas Baldin 41), Sebastian Saucedo (Maikon Orellana 74), Ricardo Velasco (Darion Copeland 90); Emery Welshman (Garett Losee 90), Max Rauhofer (Etiando Tavares 82)

Subs Not Used: Victor Rodriguez, Darion Copeland, Jose Navarro, Garrett Losee

Stats: Shots: 5, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 7, Fouls: 16, Corner Kicks: 3, Offside: 1.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Nemanja Vuković, Agustin Cazarez (James Kiffe 56); Octavio Guzman (Max Alvarez 59), Ivan Mirković, Zev Taublieb (Thomas Stewart 73), Justin Braun (Derek Foran 82); David Estrada, Cameron Iwasa (Adnan Gabeljic 70).

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Gabe Gissie

Stats: Shots: 18, Shots on Goal: 8, Saves: 1, Fouls: 16, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 2.

Match recap Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Three-Run Sixth Inning Lifts River Cats Over The Colorado Sky Sox 4-3; Sacramento Snaps 10-Game Skid

Photos By Shawn Jonas

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Sacramento River Cats took game two of their four-game series with the Colorado Sky Sox 4-3, ending their 10-game losing streak. A three-run sixth inning and a dominant showing by the bullpen put the River Cats over the edge.

The River Cats fell behind 2-1 early, but kept things close through the first five innings. In the sixth, they scored three runs to take their first lead of the game. A single by Casey McGehee led off the big inning, and a single from Hector Sanchez brought home McGehee to tie the game up. Both Jarrett Parker and Juan Perez drew consecutive walks, loading the bases. Carlos Triunfel’s single scored Sanchez and Parker to give the River Cats a 4-2 lead. That would be enough, as the bullpen held the line en route to a 4-3 win.

The Colorado Sky Sox got on the board first with a two-run double by starting pitcher Josh Roenicke in the fourth. The River Cats immediately responded back in the fifth, leading off the inning with a double by Juan Perez. A wild pitch from Roenicke allowed Perez to score Sacramento’s first run of the game.

Clayton Blackburn pitched in and out of jams all night, but the Sky Sox got the best of him in the fourth inning. Blackburn appeared to have grip issues, which led to him having trouble finding the strike zone, throwing more pitches, and possibly contributing to his throwing error. Blackburn pitched just 3.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks with 1 strikeout. He threw 75 pitches, 43 for strikes.

Clay Rapada picked up Blackburn, getting the last out of the fourth without allowing any more damage. Cory Gearrin, Brett Bochy, Steven Okert, and Cody Hall combined to pitch the rest of the game, allowing just one run over 5.1 innings. They struck out a total of six while walking just two. Gearrin (1-0, 1.23) picked up his first win of the season. Hall recorded the save for Sacramento, also his first.
Tonight’s win is the River Cats’ first since 5/18 when they beat the Albuquerque Isotopes on the road, 12-5. Over the last 10 games, the River Cats were outscored 32-63 and committed 15 errors. The 10-game streak is also the longest in franchise history.

Game three of the series will bring RHP Robert Coello (5-3, 3.45) to the mound for the River Cats, while Colorado will counter with RHP Drew Gagnon (1-6, 7.78). Coello pitched 5 innings in his last outing, allowing 2 runs on just 3 hits. His five wins are tied for second in the PCL heading into Sunday’s contest. First pitch is set for tomorrow at 12:35 p.m. (PT).

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Quiets Portland Thunder 61-42; Improve To AFL Leading 10-0

All Photos By Shawn Jonas

Portland, OR. – The San Jose SaberCats (10-0, 3-0) held off the Portland Thunder (3-6, 1-2) 61-42, on Saturday afternoon at the Moda Center.

In the second of three meetings this season for the Pacific Division rivals, the SaberCats got off to a slow start, but took over the reins with a momentum shifting second quarter, propelling them to victory and remaining unbeaten.

It did not start well for San Jose, after they fumbled the opening kickoff, allowing a safety; Portland drove down the field and scored on a Jared Perry touchdown reception, jumping out to an early 9-0 lead.

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The SaberCats responded though, getting on the board with an Odie Armstrong bruising 4-yard touchdown run, to cut the Thunder lead to 9-6. Armstrong added another touchdown in the final minute, the 96th of his career, passing Bo Kelly for third most in AFL history.
On the ensuing kickoff, David Hyland stripped Duane Brooks and defensive back Clevan Thomas dove on the ball for the recovery.

Thomas also had an interception in the first half and San Jose capitalized on the turnover with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Erik Meyer to Reggie Gray, taking a 13-9 lead.

Erik Meyer, last week’s AFL Offensive Player of the Week, had another stellar performance, completing 31-of-40 passes for 264 yards and seven touchdowns.

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Following a Kyle Rowley 1-yard touchdown run for the Thunder, the SaberCats scored 20 unanswered points on Adron Tennell and Reggie Gray touchdown receptions, leading 33-15 at halftime. Earning AFL Most Valuable Player of Week 9, Gray had 15 receptions for 137 yards and five touchdowns, matching his mark of five touchdowns from last week’s game against the Cleveland Gladiators.

Trailing 40-15 in the third quarter, Portland scored on a kickoff return for a touchdown by Duane Brooks, who made several SaberCats miss en route to the end zone. Brooks added another kick return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, bringing his total to four on the season.

Leading all defenders with nine tackles on the night, Ken Fontenette added two second half interceptions in the end zone, now with nine on the season to lead the AFL. Acquired from the Jacksonville Sharks earlier this week, Portland quarterback Alex Carter took over for Rowley following the interception in the third quarter and connected with Perry on a deep, 39-yard touchdown, cutting the San Jose lead to 40-29. Rowley struggled to find consistency, completing 9-of-21 passes for 75 yards before Carter took over. After completing his first two passes in a Thunder uniform, Carter finished strong, completing 5-of-8 passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns.

The Thunder receiving duo of Jared Perry and V’Keon Lacey continues to be a bright spot this season. Lacey led the Thunder with five receptions for 59 yards and his one touchdown brought his season total to 14. Meanwhile, Perry hauled in four receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns, including a 39-yard touchdown from Carter.

For San Jose, receiver Adron Tennell had his third straight multi-touchdown game. The 2013 AFL Receiver of the Year hauled in eight receptions for 57 yards and added two touchdowns. Making his first appearance of the season, SaberCats’ receiver Jeremy Kelley added eight receptions for 70 yards.

The SaberCats defense came into the game leading the AFL, surrendering only 37.4 points per game and with two special teams’ touchdowns for the Thunder; the defense held the Thunder offense to only 28 points scored, continuing to dominate.

San Jose will be at home at the SAP Center on Friday, June 5th to take on its other Pacific Division foe, the Spokane Shock; kickoff is at 7:30PM PDT.

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Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose Saber Cats Media Relations

Solid Start By Black Burn Yet River Cats Offense Can’t Get Going Fall To Nashville Sounds 5-0

May 25, 2015 4:53 PM PT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – 9,447 gathered at Raley Field on Memorial Day to watch as the Sacramento River Cats welcomed the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics) to West Sacramento for the first time in two years. Clayton Blackburn kept the River Cats close, but the offense couldn’t find their footing as Sacramento was shut out for just the second time this season, 5-0.

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A day after recording one hit in six innings, the River Cats offense again sputtered. They scattered four hits across the first four innings and erased any potential threats by grounding into two double plays. Darren Ford was also picked off trying to steal in the first. The River Cats were unable to muster any kind of offense after that, going hitless with just three baserunners – a hit by pitch, a walk, and reached on a fielder’s choice – in the fifth through ninth innings.

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One of Sacramento’s hits belonged to Adam Duvall, who extended his hit streak to nine games with his second-inning single. Duvall is still carrying a .322 average (15th in the PCL) through 45 games this season, to go with a league-leading 26 extra-base hits.

Blackburn was solid for Sacramento, keeping the River Cats in the game and really only running into trouble in the fourth inning. Two walks and two singles led to a 2-0 Nashville lead and loaded the bases, but Blackburn got the Sounds’ Joey Wendle to ground out to end the inning. He kept the Sounds scoreless otherwise before exiting after the fifth. He threw 97 pitches in the outing, 65 for strikes.

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The Sounds continued to add on to their lead, scoring once in the sixth and again in the seventh against River Cats’ reliever Juan Gutierrez. They knocked in their fifth run in the ninth, stretching their lead to five. First baseman and former River Cat Anthony Aliotti was 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs and a run scored for Nashville.

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Blackburn took the loss on the afternoon and is now 1-3 with a 5.06 ERA. Sounds’ reliever Jim Fuller (1-0) picked up the win for Nashville while Brock Huntzinger notched the three-inning save, his first of the season.

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After starting the season 5-0 in day games, the River Cats have won just two of their last seven matinee contests. They’ll have another chance in Thursday’s 12:05 p.m. finale with the Sounds.

Before then, the River Cats will face former Giant and River Cats star Barry Zito (1-4, 5.29) tomorrow night. The veteran lefty will be making his first start at Raley Field since 2000. Opposing him will be Sacramento’s RHP Robert Coello (5-2, 3.44) as he goes for his league-leading sixth win. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

*All Photos by Shawn Jonas